Chelsie Hall’s journey to 1,000 points

Hall’s scoring mark will make headlines, but her growth over the past four years is the real milestone.

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Chelsie Hall drives for a basket against ETSU on Dec. 8, 2020. (Truman McDaniel/Hustler Multimedia).

Betsy Goodfriend, Deputy Sports Editor

Senior point guard Chelsie Hall always knew she was going to make history at Vanderbilt. And on Sunday, she did just that when she became the 38th player in program history to score 1,000 points in her career.

 

The milestone bucket seemed effortless for Hall, who maneuvered around Alabama’s defense and drove to her left for a layup. What you don’t see is all the work and growth that led to the basket.

“Chelsie has been depended on to do a lot for us her entire career,” head coach Stephanie White said. “There were years when she was our only playmaker. She’s been fighting through injuries nearly her whole career while playing, but she always competes with a smile on her face.”

Her biggest setback was an injury her sophomore year that forced her to miss six games. For a fierce competitor like Hall, sitting on the bench while her team played without her was a struggle.

“It was my first time having a major injury,” Hall said. “I had to overcome that and watch from the bench for a couple weeks without being able to play. But I got to have another point of view of basketball and see things that I might not have seen if I was playing.”

The most recent setback was the cancellation of the team’s final non-conference game and the  postponement of its first three SEC games due to an unknown number of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. Hall was just seven points away from the 1,000-point mark when the program had to shut down.

“We completely shut down for two weeks,” White said. “We couldn’t do anything.”

The shutdown was Vanderbilt women’s basketball’s second of the season, and Hall did not know when the team would be able to play again. Vanderbilt was only able to fit in one full practice with its eight-player rotation before Sunday’s game against Alabama.

“I was just grateful that we were able to step on the floor again and that I was able to have another opportunity to score the 1,000th point,” Hall said.

Her support system was integral in her growth on and off the court, and she thanked them for helping her reach the milestone.

“I have to shout out my teammates,” Hall said. “They’ve been different for each team all four years, and they’ve definitely been a big support system for me.”

Additionally, her coaches developed her into the leader she is today.

“I’m not always the vocal person,” Hall said. “I lead by my actions, so Coach White and the coaches have really pushed me and given me the opportunity to learn how to find my voice. My teammates have always been there to help me speak my mind and give me the confidence that I needed to be a leader.”

“She’s always been a shy kid,” White said. “Really the only time you see her step out of her shell is when she’s dancing with her teammates, but she’s become much more vocal. She’s become a better leader for our team on and off the floor.”

As the only remaining player in her class, Hall’s leadership is crucial to the team. She wants to reach more milestones such as 500 career assists, but more than that, she wants to push her team to work hard and have fun on the court in a unique season.